There is a good reason Our Alley Cat can win the $150,000 Westbury Classic at Ellerslie tomorrow: Levante isn't there.
That is how jockey Sam Weatherley is viewing his chances with the mare, one of his key rides on a huge night for the young man as his career moves to the next phase.
Weatherley is going from strength to strength as a jockey, coming off winning the Auckland Guineas with Dark Destroyer and Rich Hill Mile with Mali Ston at Ellerslie on New Year's Day, the sort of performances that get you noticed.
Noticed enough to get rides for Te Akau in both $1 million races tomorrow night, with Fellini in the Million and Pin Me Up in the Classic Mile.
"I am thrilled to get on both of them and Fellini being one of the favourites is a real privilege for me. And I think he has to be a chance," says Weatherley.
While his Te Akau million-dollar mounts are new to Weatherley, he has been the regular rider of Our Alley Cat since this race last year when he shot the mare clear at the 250m only to be mowed down late by Levante.
"We almost pulled this race off last year but Levante was too quick for us late," remembers Weatherley.
"But with her not being here this time and my mare having barrier three and the speed to use it I think we are a great chance, with the option to lead or trail."
Our Alley Cat raced outside the leader Showoroses in a stronger Westbury last year before that huge second and she was only just beaten by Showoroses, beating home Two Illicit, in a Group 2 1400m at Te Rapa two starts ago, so tomorrow's race looks perfect.
While she doesn't have the sheer class of Amarelinha, the latter is racing at a distance short of her best so the biggest sticking point for some punters will be Our Alley Cat's second-last in the Railway last start.
"I think she was really bothered by the heat that day so with this week being a twilight meeting and her able to get to the track later I think it will suit," says Weatherley.
None of the horses who finished in front of Our Alley Cat in the super sprint are in the Westbury tomorrow.